Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Run with Nuun!

Nuun finally released their highly coveted Hood to Coast team applications today.  YOU better enter!  All you have to be is be female, a blogger, FUN, and not have run it with them before.

Hood to Coast is seriously one of the best races in the WORLD, and running it with Nuun is one of the best times in the WORLD.  I wholeheartedly 110% recommend applying.  

 Seriously - look how much fun this is.  And how beautiful the scenery is.

Obviously I already knew that Rudiger would probably hinder my chances of applying to this but even with this aside I fully support Nuun's decision to have an all new team of ladies this year.  Too bad though, because I seriously had a good idea for an application in the works!  If it wasn't so much dang work I would totally make the video just for fun!

Making the video last year was a blast (although JMan did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of editing), so let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we??!!  You can also check out my application here.

The good news is that I AM going to run a relay with Nuun this year!  If you haven't heard, Nuun is now the official hydration sponsor for RAGNAR, and I will be running Ragnar Las Vegas with Nuun in November!  I'm seriously pumped and a ton of other awesome blogging ladies will also be there.  Some people may be taking bets as to whether I'll actually do the race or not given Rudiger's arrival in July, but I plan on being there, with bells on!

Are you going to enter?  Please say YES!  It's the best time EVER.  Seriously.  
Care to wager a bet about my participation in Ragnar Las Vegas?!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Paint Stripes

After I finally completed the transformation of a mess to a nursery (aka, to a blank slate anyway), I was ready to paint!  I pinned a million cute nursery ideas on Pinterest but one theme that started to arise was stripes.

I also was obsessed with cute tree decals with owls in them, but after we found out for sure we were having a boy, I kind of leaned more towards stripes than the tree decals (but I still love owls!).  I knew I wanted it to be a peaceful, tranquil place, and therefore I was leaning towards gray stripes like in the inspiration picture.  I also knew that while I love owls and elephants, I didn't want it to be too "theme-y", aka, no crib bedding set and no wallpaper or stickers.

So, gray stripes it was!  Let me tell you, painting stripes is not that fun.  But I LOVE THE OUTCOME.  Love love love LOVE it.  I'm so glad because I was a little worried for awhile we were going to do all of that hard work and then not like it.  And then JMan probably would have killed me.  So what a relief to love it!

So here's how you too can paint stripes!  Just be prepared for the tediousness ahead of you...

1) Paint the room the lighter stripe color.  Our room was already painted a beige-y color so we had to return it to white, since I wanted white and gray stripes.  It took two coats to cover that beige and was hard work, but the lovely thing about painting white with a white ceiling and white trim is there is NO TAPING!

2)  Next up - decide how many stripes you want.  The magic number(s) appears to be either 7 or 9 stripes - I started with 7 because it'd be less work but after looking at the size of the stripe I thought they were just too large, so I switched it to 9.  So measure your wall and then divide that number by 9.  Round to the nearest quarter inch to make it easier on yourself - the thicknesses aren't going to be perfect and no one will notice if the bottom stripe is a little fatter or thinner.  I wanted the gray to be touching the ceiling and touching the trim since those are both white.  More decisions to make. 

3)  Then - TAPE!  This is the absolute worst part.  WORST part.  I suggest a laser level, which helps, but this is TEDIOUS work.  Make your measurements, attach the laser level, apply the tape, repeat.  Our laser level didn't work in the light of day so we did the bottom two stripes by hand with just a level.  It's also difficult to keep track of which side of the line to put the tape on - we definitely messed that up a time or two and had to redo it! 

TIP: Make sure your marriage is strong before proposing this task.  There may have been some cross words exchanged in the middle of this part of the project!  JMan NEVER wants to paint stripes again.  :-)

TIP: If you can buy, borrow, rent, etc. a fancy laser level that you put on a tripod that broadcasts the laser in all 4 directions (i.e., on all 4 walls at once) - GET THIS.  This would have cut the time of this part at least in half.  If we did this again I would totally get one of those. 

4)  Prepare yourself.  I am about to tell you a secret that will solve ALL of your painting woes for the rest of your life.  We learned this lesson the hard way long ago and while it of course adds work and time to your project, it is SO worth it.  Are you ready?

If you have textured walls, you MUST paint the underneath color on top of the tape to seal it.  We do this even with normal paint jobs at the ceiling and around trim.  So in this case, we painted a thin coat of white on top of the tape.  This "seals" the tape to keep the color from seeping underneath the tape.  Now your tape lines will be nice and crisp instead of wiggly!

At this point in the project we were close to quitting here and not finishing the rest of the wall.  That's how tedious and tired we were!  Things are always better in the light of day...

5)  PAINT!  This part is so easy and goes so quickly compared to the taping part.  Two coats. 

After we saw the first few finished stripes I was able to convince JMan we should finish the wall.  :-)

6)  Pull the tape off and BE AMAZED by how beautiful it is!  Isn't it peaceful and tranquil?????  Exactly what I hoped it would be and more! 

And there you have it!  If we can paint stripes you can too.  Good luck!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Pregnant Running Update

I've been throwing you hints about my running lately, but since this used to be a running blog (though it does say Ricole Runs SOMETIMES) instead of a pregnancy / nursery-painting / cookie-eating blog, let's chat a little about running, shall we?  

Running sucks.  Let's be honest and just throw that out there.  Running and I seem to have gotten a divorce, and it's devastatingly sad.  I don't even think I can fully blame it on Rudiger (the baby's nickname), who obviously plays a large role in this, but I think the weather is also to blame, and maybe just lack of motivation that accompanies being signed up for no races, and a myriad of other things.  A perfect storm of sorts, let's say.

Let's back up a bit.  2012 started out great running-wise.  Although I hit some  lack of motivation mid-training cycle, I had a very healthy and successful marathon training cycle, and just missed a marathon PR by a bathroom stop and a few walk-breaks I couldn't convince myself not to take in the last 3 miles.  I was ready for an awesome rest of the running year, which started off with Ragnar.

Ragnar was awesome.  I had a blast.  Clearly.


But as the smoke cleared from Ragnar and my incredible soreness faded, a weird hamstring soreness did not fade away.  Apparently essentially 3 intense speed workouts in 30 hours was too much for my poor hamstring.

In retrospect, what I SHOULD have done in this case was to rest until the pain subsided, but given that Hood to Coast was quickly approaching, that just didn't seem possible.  So the hamstring issues raged on for the rest of the entire year.  I rested periodically, foam-rolled, used a lacross ball, went to chiro, got ART, did PT exercises, etc. etc. etc.  The rest periods were as long as I could make them, but I wanted to finish out the races I had previously signed up for, including my first triathlon and my first trail race (with the last race being the Seattle Half Marathon), especially since resting vs. running really didn't seem to matter.

I don't regret my decision to run these races AT ALL.  I DO regret being cautious and not just training and running the 50k, especially given my current "condition"!

So there we are.  Heading into December I had already been resting a lot and my fitness was extremely poor.  Then the thick of the first trimester hit [which deserves its own post at some point], and I was lucky to drag myself off the couch to walk one mile during Runcember.  Finally, the worst of Seattle's winter hit, in which days are short, the skies are dark, the rain pours down, and you never want to leave the coziness of your couch.

So there we are.  All of these things combined together into the perfect storm which has left me far from feeling stellar about running.

I'm actually 22 weeks today but don't worry - I look the same.

As my belly continues to grow, so do weird aches and pains and feelings.  Running is completely hit or miss - sometimes rarely I'll feel great and most other times I'll feel horrible and quit after one measly mile.  Apparently, the continuously shrinking space for my bladder also causing a near constant need to pee while exercising.  Finally, none of my running clothes currently fit, including sports bras and tights, yet I wear them anyway, leaving more uncomfortable feelings.

But I HAVE been running, and here is proof:

But you can see how low my mileage has been, especially considering Daily Mile's scale is quite skewed (look how tall that bar with 2 is!).  You CAN see an increase in the past month or so though!  I AM feeling better, the weather is getting better, the days are longer, etc.  Actually, I think the monthly miles graph sums it up a bit better:

And there you have it.  The most ramble-y post ever.  A million words all to say that pregnant running is not all that it's cracked up to be.  I'm certainly not the pregnant running phenomenon I always hoped I would be.  I'm just a lazy bum to prefers to eat cookies on the couch.  Pass the Samoas, please. 

Thoughts on pregnant running?  Advice?  How much did you run while pregnant? Did you run the whole time?  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm the Worst Clammer in the World

Last weekend we had big plans to head to Long Beach, Washington to get our clam on.  But as Friday dawned with drowning, pouring rain and wild winds, and the weather forecast put a "HIGH SURF ADVISORY" into effect we were kind of questioning the idea. 

My favorite part is where it says: "This is not the time to be on the beach or rocks anywhere near the surf zone.  Doing so will be TAKING YOUR LIFE INTO YOUR OWN HANDS."  Can we say over-dramatic???

But we headed there anyway, managed to NOT get a speeding ticket on the way there this time (those little beach towns with deceivingly huge roads, 25 mph speed limits, and major speed traps are a menace to society) and it did NOT disappoint. 

Seriously, what's not to like?  Good food, good friends, and 27 pound gummy bears.  It doesn't get much better than this people.

I even got in not one but TWO runs, including the longest run (5.3 miles) I've done in a loooonnngggg time.  We're talking since either Christmas or New Year's Day, I don't remember which but one of those days I ran a 10k.  Like I mentioned before, running hasn't been going that well for me.

But the beautiful views, Cooper having the time of his life, and Rachael entertaining me and teaching me everything I need to know about being pregnant / having an infant made the miles fly by.  

Seriously - Long Beach not only has the actual beach but they also have miles of this lovely path that runs along the beach through wetland grasses and is just gorgeous.

It turns out the surf advisories WERE over-dramatic, but were still a bit legitimate.  While we were FAR from "taking our lives into our own hands" (clearly - we had a baby on the beach!) - the waves would sneak up on you super quickly and were quite powerful.

This made getting the clams really difficult, especially if you didn't have waders on, which of course I didn't.  The first big wave that I didn't notice in time got over my rain boots and... well, have you ever hung out with inches of freezing cold water surrounding your feet for hours?  Yeeaaahhhh, I was wondering if my toes might have to be amputated at some point.

Although the group as a whole got a whopping 75 clams (because other people are awesome), I am ashamed and embarrassed to report that I did not get ONE SINGLE CLAM.  Not ONE.  Not one little baby clam.  It was so ridiculously depressing.  In conclusion, I am definitely the worst clammer in the world. 

But the views made up for the lack of clamming dominance!

Who's a master clammer?  I need to learn your secrets.